Tesla has updated some of the language around its “Full Self-Driving Beta” program following the NHTSA recall, and some owners are quite disappointed.
If you were to take the pulse of Tesla owners on social media this morning, you would find that many of them are confused or even disappointed.
We are seeing a lot of comments like this one from well-known FSD Beta tester Chuck Cook:
The concern arises from a new support page that Tesla created regarding the NHTSA recall for FSD Beta earlier this month.
On the support page, Tesla admits that FSD Beta can sometimes break the rules of the road, which is something that anyone who used the system already knows, but the biggest concern for Tesla owners seems to be Tesla qualifying the system as a “level 2 driver assist system”:
FSD Beta is an SAE Level 2 driver support feature that can provide steering and braking/acceleration support to the driver under certain operating limitations. With FSD Beta, as with all SAE Level 2 driver support features, the driver is responsible for operation of the vehicle whenever the feature is engaged and must constantly supervise the feature and intervene (e.g., steer, brake or accelerate) as needed to maintain safe operation of the vehicle.
Tesla always qualified it as such, but some believe that the automaker is saying that it will always be “Level 2.”
The company also confirmed that it has stopped the expansion of the FSD Beta program until it propagated the “recall update”.
Everyone knows I’m not the biggest fan of FSD Beta. The very first tweet I sent to Elon Musk after he unblocked me last week is to suggest Tesla should offer refund for FSD:
With that said, I am not particularly concerned about what Tesla is saying on this new support page.
Yes, it does make it sound like “FSD Beta” is only intended to be “Level 2,” but that’s the beta. In my view, it doesn’t go against what Tesla has said in the past. Under the beta, Tesla is trying circumvent a lot of complications and regulations that come with anything more than a level 2 driver-assist system, but the goal is to use the program to eventually take it out of beta and become a level 4 or 5 system.
Now whether Tesla can achieve that is a completely different question, and I have my doubts, but I don’t think anything changed here.
I still believe Tesla needs to offer the option to be reimbursed for people who bought the FSD package and still don’t have the beta or are disappointed in the beta since it’s nowhere near what Tesla promised years ago.
I think that will go a long way to create some goodwill as the inevitable lawsuits start to pile up.